Having worked with enterprise level clients for the last few years, I came to realize that the SEO challenges that they face is the same as what small businesses face plus some more.
Essentially what these large companies are doing is what a small website would do at much larger scale. It is true technically some of the problems could be more complicated, but when it comes to executing SEO, small businesses actually have an edge over large ones.
The point here is that it is possible to beat Fortune 500 companies. As a proof, many affiliate marketers manage to rank high against large companies and make decent money.
Here is a list of things that I found the large companies really struggle with
1. The person in charge of SEO does not understand SEO
This might sound unbelievable but some companies that make BILLIONs of dollars would actually put someone with no SEO experience in charge of SEO.
I understand they hope to learn SEO by hiring a marketing firm but the sheer amount of time needed to communicate the basics of SEO just slows down everything that needs to be done.
2. Relatively small number of people on the SEO team
They have millions of pages that need to be optimized yet only a few people are actually doing SEO. Again this is why they outsource to a marketing firm but I wonder how cost effective it would be to just hire few more people and boost their pay.
On the other hand, thank them for not doing that so people like me (SEO consultant) have a job :)
3. Lack of access to good SEO tools
When it comes to getting SEO tools, a budget needs to be approved. Imagine the pain to explain the need of Moz.com subscription to someone who has no idea about SEO.
4. Need to constantly educate stakeholders to get the wheels moving
Since there are so many people involved in changing a single line of text on the website, people working in these large corporations need to constantly prepare documents to explain and educate what SEO is and why that single line of text needs to be changed.
5. Limited time to do SEO
There are hundreds of things to do on a SEO task list and each task needs to be done on millions of pages. How much time do you think they get to spend on each page doing keyword research and content optimization?
6. Don’t care about low volume keywords
This is probably why low competition longtail keywords exist. These large companies could easily rank high on these low competition keywords but since they have limited time, limited resource, and don’t care about low search volume mindset – because of low Return of Investment from their perspective, there is a large hole in many keyword categories waiting to be filled by small guys like us!
The bottom line?
Don’t get discouraged just because a Fortune 500 company is in your market. Combine keyword research with well optimized content creation will get you where you want to be!